If a driver strikes you while you are traveling as a pedestrian in Denver, Colorado, you could suffer life-changing physical and psychological injuries. Pedestrian accidents are extremely costly for victims in more ways than one. If you or a loved one was injured in a pedestrian accident, please contact Dormer Harpring for a free consultation with one of our experienced Denver accident attorneys. You may be eligible for financial compensation for your past and future losses.
Denver has an enormous amount of pedestrian activity as one of the most populated cities in Colorado. Tourists and residents alike take to the streets and sidewalks to get around in an eco-friendly way. Unfortunately, being a pedestrian is getting more and more dangerous each year due to hazards such as distracted driving.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 7,000 pedestrians lost their lives in traffic accidents in 2020 (the most recent year data is available). Additionally, about 104,000 pedestrians were treated in hospitals for crash-related injuries. In Colorado, data for 2021 reported 1,250 pedestrian accidents, an increase of 17.2% from 1,066 crashes in 2020. Pedestrians are about 1.5 times more likely to die in car accidents than passenger vehicle occupants.
One of the many reasons why it is important to hire a Denver personal injury lawyer after a pedestrian accident is the severity of the injuries often associated with these collisions. In a crash between a motor vehicle and a pedestrian, the vehicle always wins. The driver of the car will most likely escape without a scratch, while you could be sent to the hospital with catastrophic injuries. Being hit by a car can cause significant injuries to virtually any part of your body. Common complaints include:
A pedestrian can suffer serious injuries upon initial impact with the bumper or hood of the vehicle. Then, if the car strikes the pedestrian’s legs, the body is often folded forward, causing a secondary impact between the victim’s head or chest and the windshield or top of the car. Finally, the pedestrian is often thrown, bounced or propelled off of the vehicle to land in the road – resulting in injuries from a third impact. It is easy to see from the dynamics of these accidents why pedestrians often have life-changing injuries.
The number of pedestrian accidents in Colorado would be drastically reduced if driver errors were eliminated. Driver mistakes are the number one cause of pedestrian-vehicle collisions throughout the U.S. Drivers are often guilty of overestimating their abilities, trying to multitask behind the wheel and breaking traffic laws. Sadly, these mistakes can lead to pedestrian injuries and deaths.
The most common causes of pedestrian accidents in Denver, Colorado include:
These are all preventable errors that can be avoided if a driver obeys Colorado’s roadway rules and behaves prudently behind the wheel. Other common causes of pedestrian accidents in Denver include poorly designed crosswalks, lack of pedestrian passageways and pedestrian error.
Pedestrians are deemed the most vulnerable road users in Colorado. This means they are most at risk of serious and fatal injuries from traffic accidents. To combat risks against pedestrians and better protect their safety, Colorado has passed several state laws. These laws are in place to keep pedestrian and motor vehicle traffic separated at all times. Both drivers and pedestrians have a duty to know and obey the traffic laws that apply to them. They include:
In any circumstance, it is against the law for a pedestrian to step off of a curb or place of safety and enter a roadway when a vehicle is approaching at a distance or speed that makes it impossible for the driver to stop. In addition to these laws, Colorado has many others that require drivers to operate their vehicles with due care and attention. This includes reckless driving, drunk driving and distracted driving laws. If a driver breaks any law or duty of care, he or she can be held responsible for a related pedestrian accident in Denver.
When determining liability (legal responsibility) for a pedestrian accident, it is necessary to look at the fault law in the state where the accident took place. There are fault and no-fault states. Colorado is a fault car accident state, meaning the person who caused the collision must pay for the injuries and losses suffered.
If it were a no-fault state, on the other hand, fault would be irrelevant, as all victims would file first-party insurance claims regardless of fault. The party that is liable for your pedestrian accident could be a driver, the City of Denver, a property owner or a combination of parties. The answer will depend on the cause of the collision.
The most common defendant named in a pedestrian accident lawsuit is the driver of the motor vehicle. Driver errors cause thousands of pedestrian collisions each year. If you believe the driver that struck you was violating a traffic law at the time of the crash, you can file a claim with his or her insurance company in Colorado.
However, it is also possible – though less common – for a third party to be liable. A third party is someone who was not directly involved in the crash but still contributed through some act of negligence. For example, the city or state could be liable for your accident if it was caused wholly or in part by a sidewalk defect, a lack of pedestrian bridges, a malfunctioning traffic control signal or another type of road hazard.
To find out if you can hold a third party liable instead of or in addition to the driver that hit you, consult with an attorney at Dormer Harpring. We will launch a comprehensive investigation of the accident to determine all of the at-fault parties. We can assist you if you need to bring a lawsuit against a driver’s employer, the manufacturer of a defective vehicle part, the agency involved in designing the road or other third parties.
While you cannot control the actions and behaviors of motor vehicle drivers, you can improve your safety as a pedestrian by staying vigilant when walking or jogging around Colorado – especially in busy cities like Denver. Use the following pedestrian safety tips to decrease your risk of getting into an accident:
Watching where you’re walking, paying attention at all times and obeying Colorado’s pedestrian traffic laws can decrease your risk of getting injured in a pedestrian accident. Unfortunately, even the most cautious pedestrian can still become the victim of a negligent or reckless driver. If you’ve been hit by a car in Denver, you have rights.
If you’ve suffered a pedestrian accident injury, please don’t hesitate to contact the Denver personal injury lawyers at Dormer Harpring. We offer free initial consultations, where we will ask you questions about your accident and give you sound legal advice. If we believe your case has merit, we may offer to represent you during an insurance claim or injury lawsuit.
We will fight relentlessly on your behalf to advocate for the best possible results, making sure your family has what it needs to move forward. Call (303) 747-4404 or contact us online today to schedule a free case review in Denver.